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In July 1956, the five-member Barstow family of Wethersfield, Connecticut, won a free trip to newly-opened Disneyland in Anaheim, California, in a nationwide contest. This 30-minute amateur documentary film tells the fabulous story of their fun-filled, dream-come-true, family travel adventure, filmed on the scene at Walt Disney's "Magic Kingdom" by Robbins Barstow.
In December 2008, "Disneyland Dream" was named to the National Film Registry by the Librarian of Congress.
This movie is part of the collection: Home Movies
Producer: Robbins Barstow
Audio/Visual: sound, color
Keywords: home movie; Barstow Travel Adventure
Contact Information: Daniel Barstow, email@example.com
|Movie Files||MPEG2||Ogg Video||512Kb MPEG4|
|Image Files||Animated GIF||Thumbnail|
Google Disney -
Subject: Disney Dreams
This really took me back. the first time I went to Disneyland was 1956, I was 12.
What a cool video and very well done. Thanks Barstow family.
Subject: very intresting
Looks very intresting, i will watch the whole documentary, another time. I think it's great that we can download these short films.
Subject: Utterly charming!
There must be some hardened cinics out there who can't enjoy the beauty and wonder of this family's real life vacation to a NEW disneyland.
I wouldn't change a thing.
former cast -
Subject: Disneyland dream
As a former cast member of Walt's place as I call Disneyland I can say without doubt this same excitment happens everday at Disneyland.
Even locals can't wait to visit the Magic Kingdom. This movie was shot when I was about 6 months old. My Grandfather helped build Disneyland and always told my mother how amazing this place in the middle of no where was being build by Walt Disney. This movie proves that the America spirit having deep roots in our counrty is still alive and well. As Walt Disney said "Disneyland will never be complete as long as there is imagination left in the world"
This movie proves Walt was right. There are more people with Walt Disney thinking than you realize, thank goodness.
Subject: Brought Back Memories
As a neighbor of the Barstows, the annual summer screening of this movie (and others) was always a lot of fun. Dr. Barstow would tack a sheet onto the back of his house and when it got dark, project.
Mrs. Barstow made popcorn and cookies, and served punch. As a youngster of single digit age, trying to figure out how they jumped backwards onto the diving board, or how that roll of tape created 'The End'...was fun. Nice to have the narration by Dr. Barstow in this version.
Subject: RIP Robbins Barstow
Robbins Barstow (dad in movie) died Nov. 7, 2010.
His obituary can be seen online at the New York Times:
Subject: Very Enjoyable
What wonderful memories! Looks like the dad must have had some film training, this is too good for random filming! I just love how the whole family participated in the fun!!
Subject: Yeah ...thats Steve
Mikie Dennis -
Subject: Very cool
I am the age of Danny and went to Disneyland for the first time too in 1956.
I can remember how excited I was and how much I loved the place and this brings back all those memories.
Thanks for taking the time to do this.
By the way, how is the family? What has become of you all?
Subject: Great vintage footage
And great narration. Brett209, do you know for sure that is Steve Martin? I know from his biography, Born Standing Up, that he did indeed work in that position at that time? But are you sure it's him and not some other young boy?
Subject: Thanks for sharing!
I find myself watching this film over and over again. As a fellow Nutmegger, it is fascinating to see what life was like in Connecticut in the mid 50's, and Disneyland as it was when it opened. I, too have dreams of winning a family trip to Disney World or Disneyland. Thanks for sharing your family adventure!
Old Movie Buff -
Wonderful film - a great trip back in time to a time before the country was destroyed. Thanks for sharing.
Subject: Early appearance by Steve Martin
This home movie also captures early footage of comedian Steve Martin at age 11 when he worked at Disneyland selling guidebooks from 1956-8.
Blink at you'll miss it, but it is at the 20:20 mark in the lower part of the frame. Martin appears walking from left to right in a top hat, vest and striped shirt.
Surfer Joe -
Subject: I Wanna Be A Barstow!
Just wonderful. Warm, charming, and historic. We all know what happened to Disneyland; I'd love to know how all the Barstows made out in the World Of Tomorrow.
Must be fun to have people clamoring for more of your home movies- this is just great stuff and I hope there's more. Looking forward to Space Age Barstows, Counter-culture Barstows, Disco Barstows, and Reagan Revolution Barstows.
Subject: warm and all-american
I'm glad this is being preserved.
Subject: A national treasure?
Pretty typical home movie - does it really deserve to be included in the 2008 National Film Registry?
Subject: Winner winner, chicken dinner!
Had I the ability to internet you a chicken dinner sir, I gladly would. Your film is the tops!
Rick Farmiloe -
Subject: Fascinating and Historical
This is one of the coolest home movies I've ever seen. Mr. Barstow really makes the most out of his trip to Disneyland 50 years ago with his family. Great opportunity to see Disneyland and Southern California as it was back then. He even employs some fun camera tricks to add to the entertainment value. NOT to be missed!! Makes me hunger for more Adventures of the Barstows!!
Subject: Great memories!
Excellent "home movie". This is probably one of the best I've seen on this site. Disneyland is for all who are young at heart!
Subject: Best Thing Yet
This is about the best thing I have watched on the internet. Talk about memories... it sure brought them back for me! Walt Disney himself could not have narrated this any better. I felt like I was right there enjoying this vacation with the family on the film. Great work!
Subject: Interesting, sweet, and creative
Amazing footage that is very entertaining. Mr Barstow's humor and reflection make this one of the most interesting home movies I have seen. Some of the footage was shot so well it could have come right out of the Disney archives. Would make an interesting piece for a reflection on pop culture and the American experience of the past 50 years. Would be interesting to learn more about this typical American family.
Beth Gilligan -
Subject: Absolutely wonderful!
This is an absolute gem of a movie - it captures the era beautifully and brilliantly conveys the excitement surrounding the opening of Disneyland.
Subject: DisneyLand Dream
After viewing "Tarzan and the Rocky Gorge", I couldn't wait for the next Barstow video. Well I watched the Disneyland Dream and I wasn't disappointed. What a fabulous piece of American history. The great video footage matched with the modern narration gives us a look into a bygone day from the perspective of the average family. I felt like I was there with the Barstows on their West Coast Adventure. I give it "Two Thumbs Up"!
Subject: Slice of Americana
This is a wonderful slice of '50s Americana, especially for anyone who has traveled as a family or BEEN to Disneyland (in many ways, it's the same place today, only with more lights!). A must watch.
Robbins Barstow -
Subject: Disneyland Dream
Highly entertaining, personal account of what it was like for families to visit Walt Disney's "Magic Kingdom" half a century ago when it first opened in Anaheim, California. In today's world, it's good to remember what made it then "the happiest place on earth."